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A New Ubu

I enjoyed your cover story of May 21 on Zirk Ubu by Thomas Lux (“Bless This Crew of Visionaries”) but was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t recognize the literary allusion in the name of that institution: the playlet Ubu Roi by the French author Alfred Jarry. If Mr. Lux was astonished by the wackiness and energy of the Circus Ubu, he should be further amazed by Jarry’s crazy work. Jarry is often described as a precursor of the French Theater of the Absurd, as typified by the 1960s playwright Eugène Ionesco (The Bald Soprano, The Lesson, Rhinoceros, et al.). I feel that this characterization is off base, since Jarry’s works seem to me to be more a product of schoolboy high jinks for the sole purpose of shock (the first word of the play is Merdre! screamed by King Ubu — French for excrement, with an r inserted), rather than a conscious perception of the state of the world. At any rate, Jarry’s works show precisely the wild energy and zaniness Lux describes, and I think he, and any interested reader, ought to google either Ubu Roi or Alfred Jarry for an entertaining insight into the allusion mentioned above.

Dr. Julian Wulbern
Professor emeritus of German
and Comparative Literature

It Takes Two

I’m calling about some false information in a “Stringers” story, called “Toy Gun, Real Crime” (May 21). It was actually two guys who robbed Scripps Ranch AM/PM and the ones in Mira Mesa. I also know they were caught last night after casing the one in Scripps Ranch to rob it a second time.

Mike Starr

Who’s Who?

“Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” (Cover Story, May 14) is character assassination by association. Verifiable facts about Tom Gores are few. Instead, we get page after page of hearsay about his uncle, Tom Joubran. It all makes me ask, “Who is the Reader’s owner?”

Richard Tracey
via email

Success Story

My family and I have seen the characterization of the dispute between Alec Gores and the estate of Frank Joubran in your article, “Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” Cover Story, May 14.

At the time of this action in 2003, Frank Joubran had just passed away, and the sorting out of his estate took some time. There were certain advisors involved who took actions that were, in retrospect, not prudent. Over the years, Frank did extremely well financially investing with Alec. Alec was always fair and generous to Frank.

There really was no dispute between Alec and my family. The action taken by the estate was based upon a misunderstanding of the facts. The lawsuit should have never been brought. Alec and the family of Frank Joubran, including me, have no issues on this subject and consider this matter closed.

The portrait that your paper attempted to paint of Tom Gores and the Gores family is not accurate. The real story of the new owner of the Union-Tribune is one of determination, inspiration, and hard work. These days, especially, a bit of inspiration may help us all. Truly knowing and living the story, I can say with certainty that you totally missed the point. What a shame for you and the readers.

Robert Joubran
For Representatives of the
Estate of Frank Joubran

Stealth Reporter

Re “Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” (Cover Story, May 14). This report is very sloppy — the caller never identified himself as a reporter writing an article. He gave the impression he was just curious about my research, not writing a report. My statements were intended to enlighten this man about my research and were never intended to be printed, certainly were not stated in the context or sloppy English you present.

You are obviously going after the Joubrans/Goreses for obtaining a newspaper. Yellow journalists!

Hani Bawardi
via email

Matt Potter responds: I clearly identified myself as a reporter for the Reader and stated the purpose of the call. At no time did we go off the record. Mr. Bawardi was accurately quoted.

Wise Up, Guys

So the new owner’s roots are from Nazareth, once part of “Palestine” (“Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” Cover Story, May 14). Can the Reader tell me what year Palestine was founded and by whom? What were its borders? What was its capital? What were its major cities? What constituted the basis of its economy? What was its form of government? Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat? What was the language of the country of Palestine? What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine? What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the U.S. dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date. I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern-day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won’t work here.

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arabs have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people,” and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria. The Reader needs to wise up a bit if its main articles are to be taken seriously.

Michael Isaacs
via email

First Amendment Mambo

Your “Blurt” article “Stand Still, Laddie!” (May 14) mentions that Sergeant Dan Plein of SDPD vice “says dancing will not be permitted.”

Do we know the details on this? Wouldn’t dancing be a personal form of expression? What would the concerns on this be as far as the police are concerned?


According to the San Diego Police Department, dancing is permitted in a club that has a general entertainment permit, which 8Teen’s proprietor says her club does. — Editor

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Robert Johnston May 29, 2009 @ 3:33 p.m.

Just finished perusing another issue of your weekly offerings. The lead story was cool, but I feel that a few comments about past stories (and one of this week's letters) are in order.

  1. After I read the story by the young lass combining her views on her former jobs (and her views on the workaday world in general) with a search for sea turtles off the San Diego Coast (as well as some of the past comments regarding said article)? Frankly, young lady, I seriously doubt that your former employers appreciated your tart-tounged attitude about working in their establishments. Try to realize that being employed may stink sometimes (worse than that "wasted sushi" in fact), but in this day-and-age, those that can turn a job that's chicken-bleep into chicken-and-dumplings tend to do better at their line-of-work. Also, try to stick to one topic in a story, and make sure all aspects fit into the storyline. Switching back-and-forth between two topics in the same story is not only confusing, but also makes the story unreadable to begin with.

And as for that letter from "The White Skull" regarding Mr. Xtreme? Hey, man...your letter was neither funny, nor worth the space the Reader gave it! There is more than enough evil on this here planet without the likes of you trying to pull a third-rate Lex Luthor act and lashing out in that manner! You want to act like a total pinhead...don't be too surprised if somebody calls you out. And as for the "Mr. Xtreme" story itself? I thought Ollie was 86'ed from your paper to begin with! Something reeked about this story, and when I saw who worte it at the end? It's no small wonder that Mr. Xtreme isn't either in the Central Jail or at CMH-Rosecrans, courtesy of the SDPD! Quality Control, folks--that's what you need to use more of when selecting your articles! Having said my say, I bid you Good Day! LPR48619


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